Why interactive followers are more important than follower count
Quality over quantity is a sentiment we’ve likely heard most of our lives – like the value of having a small core group of solid friends versus a large group of acquaintances, mastering one skill instead of knowing a little about a lot, or spending more time finishing a project instead of being the first to complete it but having to start over. The same mindset can be applied to social media. When it comes to followers, it’s more important to have an engaged audience of a smaller size than a lot of followers who rarely interact with your content. Here are a few reasons why.
As social media evolves, so do its users. Say goodbye to the days of highly edited selfies and staged photoshoots, and hello to seemingly uncurated photo dumps and lifestyle images. Users would much rather see a sneak peek of a new restaurant concept from the general manager than stylized photos of models eating and drinking. While these photos may look impressive, they can lack authenticity – whereas a guided tour gives viewers a firsthand look at the dining experience, making them feel important and creating rapport between them and the manager. While they haven’t spoken to the manager or been in the restaurant, they already feel comfortable upon arrival knowing someone’s name and how to semi-navigate the space.
The same thought process can be applied to follower count. If a potential new customer at your boutique stumbles upon your social media and notices a million followers, they might be impressed. However, if the account’s posts only have five likes, it’s safe to assume the user will suspect something is up – like the account purchased its followers. Not only are purchased followers against several platforms’ community guidelines, they can also create a feeling of mistrust among potential followers and customers. It demonstrates you’re all about the looks, but don’t care about the content, which can reflect back on your product, service or personal brand.
Followers crave belonging in the same way people crave authenticity. As humans, it’s in our nature to be a part of a group because that’s how our ancestors survived. Today, we find comfort in community, solace in friendships and a sense of belonging among others like us.
When it comes to followers, having a core group of engaged followers creates a sense of community and belonging. When you interact with users who comment or message your account, you’re letting users know how important they are to you, which builds brand loyalty and trust. These supporters become your biggest advocates in their communities and social groups. They tell their friends how positive of an experience they had, which leads their friends to tell their own friends and so on, creating a community of like-minded people who enjoy your product, service or brand – your biggest advocates!
At the end of the day, social media users only want what we want in real life – genuine connection. By creating a follower base of like-minded, engaged people, you’ve created a community of your biggest supporters, fans and advocates. No matter the number of followers you have or don’t have, you can’t put a price on connection.